Some things in life never change.
Playoff football success for the Centennial Coyotes seems to be one of them.
The third-seeded ‘Yotes (10-2) started fast and cruised to an easy 37-7 win over mistake-prone Sunnyslope (11-1) Friday night in the west Valley. With the win Centennial will face 10-seed Chaparral Friday night in the Division II Semi-finals at North Canyon High School.
The Vikings looked tentative from the opening kickoff and were never able to get their offense and talented skill players Tim Fryson and Jacob Eshelman on track.
After an early field gave the hosts a quick 3-0 lead in the opening quarter junior quarterback Isaac Steele hooked up with sophomore Andrew Nichols who broke a tackle and took it in near the Centennial sideline. The later Coyotes returned a fumble for a touchdown and led 23-0 at the half.
It was little surprise the hosts were able to control the clock and tempo on the ground as this is a team which averages over 250 yards rushing per contest. Captain running back/outside linebacker Dedrick Young had a signature run in the second quarter sweeping around edge in front of the Sunnyslope sideline before following his caravan of blockers to the end zone for the score which essentially put the game away and handed the Vikings their first loss of the season.
Defensively, Centennial used their athleticism and were able to disrupt senior quarterback Mason Cheatham and ‘Slope’s tempo offense which had performed at a high-level all season before running into a buzz saw Friday night in Peoria. The Vikings finally broke the shutout in the fourth quarter but it was far too little, too late as the Coyotes move on.